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Unread 11-11-2012, 05:50 PM   #121
armyRN
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Somehow I found this blog: http://livinginmycar.com/blog/about/

She has/had "issues" (not trying to be mean here - take it at face value), so short story she bought a small motorhome and hit the road. She also went to Alaska, and posted text and pictures. Kinda interesting to read actually. But she did the Dempster Highway, went to TUK (flew in), etc. The post I was reading was from 2010, and looks like she took a different life-turn late 2011 so I think she's no longer on the road.

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Unread 11-11-2012, 07:47 PM   #122
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Somehow I found this blog: http://livinginmycar.com/blog/about/

She has/had "issues" (not trying to be mean here - take it at face value), so short story she bought a small motorhome and hit the road. She also went to Alaska, and posted text and pictures. Kinda interesting to read actually. But she did the Dempster Highway, went to TUK (flew in), etc. The post I was reading was from 2010, and looks like she took a different life-turn late 2011 so I think she's no longer on the road.
yes she does/did have issues, and she does have a different look. reading her story and watching her videos, she could talk a few people out of taking the trip.

Did really like some of her pictures, makes me want to leave tomorrow
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Unread 11-11-2012, 07:53 PM   #123
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Found this map,
http://www.yukoninfo.com/maps/dempster.htm
Can a person drive up to Tuktoyaktuk?
It looks like you could, if you want to go in February. Winter ice road, it seems like I've seen it on Ice Road Truckers.
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Unread 11-11-2012, 09:06 PM   #124
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yes she does/did have issues, and she does have a different look. reading her story and watching her videos, she could talk a few people out of taking the trip.

Did really like some of her pictures, makes me want to leave tomorrow
I agree; it might talk some people out of taking the Dempster if they read her blog. But those are probably the types of folks who shouldn't be trying that sort of thing in the first place.

But I'm tracking - for others like us, it makes us want to go even more. I'm already thinking of things I want to do (think $) to get my truck ready for our next adventure up there (much to my wife's chagrin). New rims, tires, gear change, True-Trac up front (to match the rear), etc.
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Unread 11-11-2012, 10:07 PM   #125
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Agree, the more I read, the more time I want to spend up there, not sure our 5-6 weeks for a total trip will be enough.

I love my truck, but I will have 2-3 more people in my vehicle, and my truck only holds 1 more. I am looking at a getting a Jeep Unlimited MOAB or Rubicon or what ever might come out in 2014. I was going to wait until March of 2014, but now thinking, no later than Dec 2013 just to work any bugs, so an order around late Oct.
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Unread 11-12-2012, 10:11 AM   #126
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I had no issues with my four cylinder TJ with the back seat removed, and pulling a small trailer loaded with camping gear. The set-up worked, and did what we needed it to do. However, it wasn't the most convenient set-up. Part of it was the design of the trailer; you had to do a little bit to get the vinyl lid off-and-on. An ideal trailer set up would have a hinged lid. Plus having to load and unload the back of the TJ (daily) required sliding the seats forward, etc. Doable, but awkward. We thought we'd drive with the upper door halves off - never happened. Either too chilly (not that we're wimps) or it was raining/drizzly.

At the time I was stationed at Ft Lewis, so it was only a couple of hours drive to the jump-off point for the ferry (Bellingham, WA just south of the Canada border). So that logistical part of the trip was a non-issue. Bottom line, the Jeep/trailer set-up worked fine, and we had a blast on our trip. We want to go back.

Fast forward to now. I'm in Tennessee (Ft Campbell). It's a couple days drive from here just to get to our jump-off point in WA. My buddy (doesn't work) is going to have to drive the truck from TN to WA, I'll fly out there the day before we go "outside the wire", we'll do our trip, and then I'll fly back to TN and he'll have to drive the truck back to WA (I can only get so much leave time at one time). The truck is a 96 Gen II Dodge 1500 4x4 regular cab short-bed with a fiberglass cap. It will make the drive from here to WA and back much more pleasant for my buddy, plus for all the driving in Alaska/Canada we'll be doing. It's quieter inside, and just overall more comfortable to drive. And it will be nice just to lift the glass and drop the tailgate and have access to all our stuff. And I think I'll have a bit more room in the back of the truck than I did with the back of the Jeep and trailer combined. Gas mileage difference should be negligible overall between the truck and the Jeep. Plus the truck should be shorter in length than the Jeep/trailer combo, so we'll save on the ferry cost.

One thing I discovered in Alaska/Canada was how wide open it was. We never felt squeezed in, or wishing our vehicle was smaller. I think the ideal vehicle for a trip like this (especially if you're going to have more than two folks in the vehicle and be camping) would be a full-size crew cab 4x4 truck. I'd be partial to a Gen II Dodge full size (1500 or 2500) crew cab with a short-bed and a cap (1998 - 2000 something?) if you're trying to keep costs down, but Chevy, Ford, Toyota, Dodge would all work. I think a Dodge Mega-Cab truck would be the next step above ideal. You're going to be spending a lot of time driving/riding in your vehicle. You want to be comfortable, especially if you're talking 5-6 weeks. Of course, I've heard nothing but good stuff about the new Jeeps, and I'm sure it's like night-and-day ride-wise compared to my 98 TJ.

Here's a couple of pictures my wife was taking as we were getting ready to hit-the-road on our Alaska/Canada adventure. My truck is in the background.
june-2012-007.jpg   june-2012-009.jpg   june-2012-012.jpg  
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Unread 11-12-2012, 09:51 PM   #127
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The Jeep is more of my retirement toy, and what I want for just taking it easy and traveling around this great country of ours. What I like about the Jeep, it that it can be a convertible if the weather is right. Should the Jeep not work out, I would get a Tacoma, never have been a big fan of full size trucks, because I never need them for what they where made for. Funny too, because I am 6'1" & 215lbs, but have always like/loved smaller cars and trucks, Mustangs(2), Honda S2000(2), Triumph TR6(3), CJ7(1) & Toyota Trucks(7). Have tried a few big cars & trucks, a F250 and a Pontiac Grandville Contverible, truck was OK, loved the car.

I give the Jeep a tried, if it is reliable, keeps me dry and warm with the hardtop on, takes me where I want go, then we will have a lasting relationship, if not then time for another Toyota Truck.
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Unread 11-13-2012, 02:46 PM   #128
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The Jeep is more of my retirement toy, and what I want for just taking it easy and traveling around this great country of ours. What I like about the Jeep, it that it can be a convertible if the weather is right. Should the Jeep not work out, I would get a Tacoma, never have been a big fan of full size trucks, because I never need them for what they where made for. Funny too, because I am 6'1" & 215lbs, but have always like/loved smaller cars and trucks, Mustangs(2), Honda S2000(2), Triumph TR6(3), CJ7(1) & Toyota Trucks(7). Have tried a few big cars & trucks, a F250 and a Pontiac Grandville Contverible, truck was OK, loved the car.

I give the Jeep a tried, if it is reliable, keeps me dry and warm with the hardtop on, takes me where I want go, then we will have a lasting relationship, if not then time for another Toyota Truck.
Rest assured - I love my Jeeps for all the reasons you stated. I've got two (three if you count my son's Grand Cherokee which he has at college); my 98 TJ and a 1946 Willys CJ2A. My Jeeps are not my daily drivers and now that I'm in TN I can more enjoy driving with the doors and such off. There are some things you can only do in a Jeep! And this is the Jeep Forum...

My daily driver is a 2-door Toyta Yaris - a very small economy car which is fun to drive.

But having done Alaska and Canada with the Jeep and trailer (loved it - had no issues with either one and had a blast and want to go back) I think we're going to take the truck this next time for the previously stated reasons. It's not a crew cab, but it's what I've already got on hand. Bought new in 1996 now with 198,000 miles on it. But I don't think you can go wrong with one of the new four-door Wranglers; easy to carry passengers plus storage behind the rear seat. Sounds like a win-win to me. Plus it should be more than up to towing a trailer.

If only I could talk my wife into trading in the Dodge minivan and the KIA Sorento for a new Jeep unlimited four-door. But there's something to be said for not having car payments.
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Unread 11-13-2012, 06:31 PM   #129
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No payments are nice, I am putting away as much as I can now. I do plan on a payment for the Jeep, but a smaller one, but also hope to have cash for the little things I want to change or add to it.

I was thinking that if we both do our trips in 2014, we should try to set something up to meet in Alaska.
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Unread 11-13-2012, 07:40 PM   #130
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No payments are nice, I am putting away as much as I can now. I do plan on a payment for the Jeep, but a smaller one, but also hope to have cash for the little things I want to change or add to it.

I was thinking that if we both do our trips in 2014, we should try to set something up to meet in Alaska.
Yeah I was thinking about coordinating our trips some. It's still a ways off, but nobody has expressed any interest on going with us the next time. Not unexpected since it is a ways off...

Our very tentative plans are to catch the ferry in Bellingham WA late May (2014) to Haines, from Haines to Anchorage, spend about two nights there, take the highway south from Anchorage all the way down, and then return to Anchorage (maybe spend another night in Anchorage). From there we'll skip Fairbanks and head over towards Chicken, go to Dawson, make a run up the Dempster Highway and back, and then work our way to the Cassiar (spelling?) Highway and from there work our way back to Bellingham. Whitehorse has a very nice museum, but otherwise it's like any other medium size city (they do have a Wal-mart and places to re-stock food and such) and we're wanting to spend time in the more undeveloped/non-comercial areas.

Depending on how our timing is going will determine what little side trips we take all along the way. Some of the places we went the first time were nice, but it's like "been there, done that, let's check out someplace new" for this next trip.

I envy you being able to take 5-6 weeks for your trip. I'll be lucky to get three weeks leave at one time, and that will include the flying to Seattle and from Seattle back to TN. So we'll just have to leave some parts for the Great Alaska/Canada Adventure Tour III.

We really enjoyed the ferry. It's a shorter ride going up than coming back down (like three days vs. four days). It might be hard talking your whole group into going, but if you're ever taking just one or two vehicles you should consider it.

I'll most likely start another thread like I did this one for our next Adventure Tour (with a link on this thread to the new one). As we get closer to our (yours and mine) departure times we'll have to talk and compare notes and itineraries.
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Unread 11-13-2012, 11:24 PM   #131
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Yeah I was thinking about coordinating our trips some. It's still a ways off, but nobody has expressed any interest on going with us the next time. Not unexpected since it is a ways off...

Our very tentative plans are to catch the ferry in Bellingham WA late May (2014) to Haines, from Haines to Anchorage, spend about two nights there, take the highway south from Anchorage all the way down, and then return to Anchorage (maybe spend another night in Anchorage). From there we'll skip Fairbanks and head over towards Chicken, go to Dawson, make a run up the Dempster Highway and back, and then work our way to the Cassiar (spelling?) Highway and from there work our way back to Bellingham. Whitehorse has a very nice museum, but otherwise it's like any other medium size city (they do have a Wal-mart and places to re-stock food and such) and we're wanting to spend time in the more undeveloped/non-comercial areas.

Depending on how our timing is going will determine what little side trips we take all along the way. Some of the places we went the first time were nice, but it's like "been there, done that, let's check out someplace new" for this next trip.

I envy you being able to take 5-6 weeks for your trip. I'll be lucky to get three weeks leave at one time, and that will include the flying to Seattle and from Seattle back to TN. So we'll just have to leave some parts for the Great Alaska/Canada Adventure Tour III.

We really enjoyed the ferry. It's a shorter ride going up than coming back down (like three days vs. four days). It might be hard talking your whole group into going, but if you're every taking just one or two vehicles you should consider it.

I'll most likely start another thread like I did this one for our next Adventure Tour (with a link on this thread to the new one). As we get closer to our (yours and mine) departure times we'll have to talk and compare notes and itineraries.
Hard to be sure this far out, but i would like to join you for Great Alaska/Canada Adventure Tour III, if you don't mind.

As of right now, because of kids in school, our plans are for my friends to leave Houston around June 6 and head to Banff, we will spend a night or 2 there. I will meet up with them on the road and pick up people in Calgary. From there, up the Alaska highway from starting point to finishes. Should we decide to do the Dempster highway, my group could change our routes little and meet up and do the Dempster together. We could then go through Dawson, Chicken and Fairbanks, on our way to Denail. There we meet up with more friends and tour south of Anchorage. After that I am not really sure, still working on all of this, hard part is estimate distance we will cover each day.

I am lucky to have a few good friends that can take that time off work and do the whole trip with me. I am lucky enough to retire early in life an have the money to do this and I hope many other trips.
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Unread 11-14-2012, 06:08 PM   #132
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Hard to be sure this far out, but i would like to join you for Great Alaska/Canada Adventure Tour III, if you don't mind.

As of right now, because of kids in school, our plans are for my friends to leave Houston around June 6 and head to Banff, we will spend a night or 2 there. I will meet up with them on the road and pick up people in Calgary. From there, up the Alaska highway from starting point to finishes. Should we decide to do the Dempster highway, my group could change our routes little and meet up and do the Dempster together. We could then go through Dawson, Chicken and Fairbanks, on our way to Denail. There we meet up with more friends and tour south of Anchorage. After that I am not really sure, still working on all of this, hard part is estimate distance we will cover each day.

I am lucky to have a few good friends that can take that time off work and do the whole trip with me. I am lucky enough to retire early in life an have the money to do this and I hope many other trips.
Let's see... the Great Alaska/Canada Adventure Tour II I'm shooting for 2014; the Great Alaska/Canada Adventure Tour III hopefully will be sometime 2016-2017(?). If you're thinking of going in 2013 with your group, and then want to join us in 2014 that would be fun. Then both of us would already have an idea of what to expect in Alaska and Canada since we've been there before. Plus you'll know what works and what doesn't work for you (vehicle and camping equipment wise). After our 2014 Great Alaska/Canada Adventure Tour II I'm sure we'll be wanting to start planning our Great Alaska/Canada Adventure Tour III. If my buddy had his way he'd probably be living in Anchorage, and if my wife was game I'd be tempted too.

You definitely have to start a thread like this one documenting your trip from start to finish (with lots of text and pictures). Especially if you've got a group going with you; getting different perspectives during the same trip would be interesting (especially if others in your group are posting). It would give it more of a 360 perspective (vs. my narrow perspective). It would be interesting to read about how your different vehicles do (unless everyone is driving a new Jeep of course), different types of camp set-ups, etc.
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Unread 11-14-2012, 08:26 PM   #133
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My tour will be June 2014, I don't retire until March of that year and i am lucky to get 3 weeks off at one time. All of my leave for 2013 has been bid already.
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Unread 11-14-2012, 08:46 PM   #134
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Let's see... the Great Alaska/Canada Adventure Tour II I'm shooting for 2014; the Great Alaska/Canada Adventure Tour III hopefully will be sometime 2016-2017(?). If you're thinking of going in 2013 with your group, and then want to join us in 2014 that would be fun. Then both of us would already have an idea of what to expect in Alaska and Canada since we've been there before. Plus you'll know what works and what doesn't work for you (vehicle and camping equipment wise). After our 2014 Great Alaska/Canada Adventure Tour II I'm sure we'll be wanting to start planning our Great Alaska/Canada Adventure Tour III. If my buddy had his way he'd probably be living in Anchorage, and if my wife was game I'd be tempted too.

You definitely have to start a thread like this one documenting your trip from start to finish (with lots of text and pictures). Especially if you've got a group going with you; getting different perspectives during the same trip would be interesting (especially if others in your group are posting). It would give it more of a 360 perspective (vs. my narrow perspective). It would be interesting to read about how your different vehicles do (unless everyone is driving a new Jeep of course), different types of camp set-ups, etc.
I will be starting a thread here and will post comments and photos, I don't do Facebook.

We could do a great trip for 2016-17. I have some other friends who might want to do a trip then, and with that much notice, the ferry could be affordable to them.
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Unread 11-15-2012, 03:50 PM   #135
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I will be starting a thread here and will post comments and photos, I don't do Facebook.

We could do a great trip for 2016-17. I have some other friends who might want to do a trip then, and with that much notice, the ferry could be affordable to them.
Yeah - I have a facebook account but I don't "do" facebook. It's more fun to get comments from other Jeepers (especially this thread) when talking about this stuff. I've really enjoyed the feedback from this Alaska/Canada thread, and having our trip "documented" for all to see.

And at the latest I should be retired and out of the Army by the spring of 2017. Then I should be able to be gone as long as I want (and my wife lets me...).

The ferry wasn't cheap; figure around $2000 +/- for two people and depending on your vehicle length and if you get a cabin vs. sleeping on the deck (sleeping on the deck was actually pretty cool). It's about 1600 miles from Bellingham WA to Haines, AK by ground. At 15 mpg you're looking at around $500 for gas (plus campground fees which aren't too bad actually). So if you subtract that from the +/- $2000 for the ferry, it's still a good chunk of change but not as bad as it seems (especially if split between two or more folks). It was one of the highlights of our trip (if you couldn't figure it out from our trip write-up), and if you can afford it you should do it at least once.

Definitely we'll compare notes as we get closer to June 2014.

If I move back to WA after I retire (very likely), it'll make it just that much easier to point the truck or Jeep north to Alaska!
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